The Drive To Thrive event awards a new car to a local golfer

by | Sep 26, 2021 | Driving Ranges

Mercy Hospital and Quirk Auto Group’s Drive To Thrive event raised funds for hospital transportation.

PORTLAND, Maine – Have you ever been a swing away from leaving a golf course in a brand new car?

30 local golfers had the chance on Saturday at the Riverside Golf Course in Portland. This summer, Mercy Hospital and Quirk Auto Group launched the Drive To Thrive campaign to raise funds to cover patient transportation costs.

“One of the things that is very important these days is giving people access to health services,” said Charlie Therrien, president of Mercy Hospital.

Timothy Reardon is a self-proclaimed semi-retired manager of Quirk. He said his company has a long history of working with local hospitals and is always happy to help hospital patients.

The 2021 Chevrolet Trailblazer was the grand prize, and Reardon added that it’s a great car for Mainers and that it fits in many golf bags.

There were six qualifying tournaments on six courses in southern Maine, and the five golfers closest to the hole on their respective courses made it to the finals on Saturday.

The pin was set 100 yards from the tee box with a light wind blowing into the golfer’s face.

“100 yard shots, sometimes you hit them, sometimes you don’t,” said Candidate Matt Damon. “Free chance to win a car, I mean why not? It is everyone’s game and it depends on the execution. “

Damon’s first swing sailed his ball right on the pin and he was the leader in the clubhouse within five meters of the hole.

“At the end of the day, it’s out of my hands,” he added.

When the contest ended, Sam Morse of Wells entered the tea box. His first two strokes didn’t come under Damon’s number so he had to do something special on his third and final swing.

He said he went to the driving range before the contest on Saturday and it paid off.

“The first couple of shots weren’t the best, [I] I just got lucky with the third one, “said Morse.

His sand wedge shot landed less than three feet from the hole and gave Morse the lead. It took Morse about thirty minutes to be officially declared the winner, but it probably felt like hours to him.

While the event was fun and semi-competitive, everyone involved said the real price was in helping the people in the community.

“Any time you can donate to a good cause and win a car at the same time, that’s great,” said golfer Joe Swenson.

The Drive To Thrive campaign will continue to raise funds to cover transportation costs for the remainder of the year.